For many people living with depression and anxiety, academia is one of the main stressors. If it is for you, chances are you have considered taking a leave of absence from school or have fallen into a rut. There can be little routine at college, and it’s a place where parents can’t easily guide you. If you can relate, check out what an emotional support animal in college can do for you.
1) You won’t spend all day sleeping.
One of depression’s best friends is sleep. When sleep takes over, it becomes hard to get out of bed, strenuous to get to class, and difficult to make sure you eat the most important meal of the day, breakfast. Taking care of an emotional support animal in college makes all of those things easier. Knowing that your animal is counting on you to get fed and get walked in the morning changes your morning routine and forces you to get out of bed throughout the day.
2) You get exercise.
As we know, exercise gives us a boost of endorphins needed to help us take on the day. Although some animals don’t need walking, taking a dog on a walk or run a few times a day gives your pup exercise to stay in shape, as well as gives you a shot of energy that you might not otherwise have.
3) You have a companion.
If you’ve grown up with a pet, you know what it is like to have a best friend through an animal. Having a one-on-one relationship with your emotional support animal in college, especially during hard times, creates a special bond. As the bond grows, you not only have a best friend, but a companion to count on.
4) You’re in control.
One of the things many people with anxiety or depression struggle with is not feeling in control of situations. Being the owner and handler of a living being gives you a sense of control. It is your responsibility to nourish and care for the animal. If you follow a routine for your support animal, your feeling of not being in control diminishes.
5) It is a good distraction.
At the end of a mentally and emotionally exhausting day, you can curl up with your best friend who never fails to love you, cuddle on you, kiss you, and check on you. With a thousand things on your mind, sitting with your emotional support animal for just five minutes can take the hard things off your mind.
6) You meet new people.
Meeting new people can be hard for many people with anxiety. While walking through campus with your dog, people will probably ask to pet it. By saying yes, you are socializing your dog, and putting yourself outside your comfort zone by meeting new people.
7) You have a sense of belonging.
Once you are the owner of an emotional support animal in college, most of your attention goes towards caring for it. If you struggle with depression, you might not have felt a sense of belonging before this animal came into your life. Now that a life is in your care, you may feel like you have a new purpose.
College life can be hard on anyone, but having an emotional support animal in college can make things a little less daunting. If you’re overwhelmed by school, consider looking into getting a support companion of your own!
Featured image source: pixabay.com
Sophomore at Elon University, I come from a military family. I have a passion for traveling and learning about new cultures. My appreciation for different people around the globe is growing, and something that I look forward to building upon through self exploration.